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Dismal NFL Ratings Force Networks To Renegotiate With Advertisers

MONDAY, DEC 14, 2020 - 13:42


Absolutely terrible NFL ratings and pandemic-driven schedule changes are forcing television networks to renegotiate deals with advertisers to make up for the much smaller audience, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which adds that their opportunity to profit off of the remaining games during the typically lucrative holiday season is narrowing.

NBC made the unusual move of lowering the price it charged advertisers that already had committed to run in a Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game planned for Thanksgiving night after a Covid-19 outbreak on the Ravens forced the game’s postponement to the following Wednesday.

Some networks also have considered letting advertisers pay less for commercials during NFL games and other programming than they originally pledged. -Wall Street Journal
Adding to the revenue shortfall is the fact that networks have given away a massive amount of the remaining commercial time to marketers (known as 'make-good' commercials) to make up for the underperformance, leaving little ad time that can be sold in the last quarter of the season.

Historically, NFL games are the crown jewel of ad revenue because they regularly gather the largest live audiences 'at a time of increasing audience fragmentation.' This year, however, ratings have taken a large hit due to pandemic-related postponements and COVID-19 sidelining several star players (Dez Bryant was recently told moments before kickoff he couldn't play due to a positive test, after hanging out with his entire team that went on to play the game).

Thanksgiving Fumble

According to the report, NBC was likely the hardest-hit this Thanksgiving - typically a cash cow for ad revenue thanks to NFL viewers. Alas, viewership for the Ravens-Steelers game, which cost advertisers an average of $1 million for 30 seconds of commercial time, was down 50% over last year to 11 million viewers. What's more, some Thanksgiving advertisers didn't pay at all thanks to the 'make-good' ad credits they were given for dismal ratings earlier in the season, according to people familiar with the matter.

"We’ve worked with every one of our partners individually to find what works best for them," an NBC Sports spokesman told the Journal via email. "We will have delivery solutions for all of our NFL advertisers this season."

Through 13 weeks of the season, NFL ratings were down 7% across its broadcast and cable games, disproportionately dropping among a key Males 18-49 and 25-54 age categories.

Gibbs Hajun, investment lead at WPP PLC ad-buying firm Mindshare, said: “Even as surefire as the NFL has been—and the last couple years, NFL ratings stood up much better than network prime-time ratings—we are now in a situation where the NFL is declining.”

Last month, we continued to note a plunge in the league's ratings. After documenting historically poor ratings for the NBA Finals on the heels of that league turning political, the NFL followed suit. We also noted a couple months ago that the NFL season got off to a poor start in terms of ratings.

Week 10's Sunday Night Football Patriots vs. Ravens game - featuring one of the best quarterbacks in the league and arguably the best coach in NFL history - saw its ratings collapse 31% over last year's Week 10 game, we noted. Week 10's Sunday night game became, at the time, "the season’s least-watched Sunday game," according to Breitbart.
In Luce tua Videmus Lucem KRK
Why are the ratings down? We're in a damn pandemic and there isn't a helluva lot people can do.
  • KRK
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool 

Why are the ratings down? We're in a damn pandemic and there isn't a helluva lot people can do.

Don't underestimate how badly they miscalculated the backlash from the WOKE stuff which was shoved in fans faces. People don't like to be judged by their color, no matter their color, and preached at by people who don't have the moral authority to do so.

And the pandemic only emphasized how big of a screw up it was, As you rightly point out, there is relatively far less other entertainment. Less competition and still very weak ratings.

I know quite a few guys who just said 'enough'.....including some former regulars here, for that very reason. I know 4 or 5 former college football players who had been life long fans who just walked away.

And now, it will cost them with much lower revenues.
In Luce tua Videmus Lucem KRK
Some, well many of us live in an area where our team is not always on tv, so we have to go to a sports bar type venue to watch the game. Sports bars used to be packed, but this season, crowds are now between 25-50%.(if that) This all has to do with Covid-19, the BLM/ANTFA crap. Many fans have kissed the NFL goodbye. I could give more examples, but is almost as easy to watch the game streamed like I did last Sunday.
Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool 

Why are the ratings down? We're in a damn pandemic and there isn't a helluva lot people can do.

Including paying their cable bill... as a lot of people are earnings less.

Also, I've always been a believer in that some shows get much bigger ratings simply because a businesses can turn them on for customers without worrying they're going to offend many.... so a number of business are playing them for background noise and a distraction for those that are waiting... for food, for a service, for something else.

Sports are probably one of those, and with a lot of bars shut down, or limited, they're pulling in less numbers.

Also, aren't those numbers to a degree estimate anyways? Where they might be able to tell how many businesses or houses have the game on... but then have to estimate how many people watching per house or per business?

And when streaming started coming in, those numbers took a bit because the normal standard tv trackers couldn't follow how many places it was playing... I still haven't heard how they have figured a solution to that out... I've wondered if they're just trying to estimate that as well? Or did they get some better way to really track it.

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Ratings for NFL Wild Card Weekend were down big

By Ryan Hannable

8 hours ago https://www.radio.com/we...rd-weekend-were-down-big 

With the addition of a playoff team in each conference and two more Wild Card games, the NFL called it "Super Wild Card Weekend," but when it came to television ratings it wasn't super at all.

According to Sportico, ratings for the games were down 25% on Saturday compared to last year and 20% on Sunday.

Ratings overall were down 7% in the regular season, so that is a big jump to upwards of 20 for the first weekend of the postseason.

So, what are some possible reasons? It may have just been too much football.

There were roughly 10 straight hours of action both days, which is just a lot even for the most invested of fans. The games also were not all that spectacular. Half were one-score games, but the outcome in all but the Bills/Colts were never really in doubt.

Another reason could be the events in Washington last week and people's attention over the weekend still being directed towards that.

While on the surface six playoff games in two days seemed like a good idea for the league, at least for this year the results in terms of fan interest it was not.

In Luce tua Videmus Lucem KRK
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Nearly half of Americans changed sports viewing habits because of social justice

Jay Busbee Mon, March 29, 2021, 3:26 PM·2 min read


In the wake of last summer’s social justice protests, which consumed sports for much of the second half of 2020, nearly half of all Americans changed their sports viewing habits, according to a new YouGov / Yahoo News poll.
As athletes and leagues embraced a new, progressive strategy aimed at amplifying messages of social justice and political advocacy, some Americans began watching more sports, but about three times as many watched less.

Of those who watch sports on TV, about 11 percent said they now watch more as a result of political and social messaging. However, 34.5 percent, more than one-third, said they are watching less. The vast majority, roughly 56.3 percent, said they watch about the same amount regardless of political or social messaging.

Ratings across all major sports were down in 2020, the result of a range of factors including time-shifted sports calendars and the presidential election, but it’s clear from this poll that politics and social justice had some impact on the ratings decline.

Men were more likely to turn away from sports as a result of social messages; 37.6 percent of males said they had tuned in less, as opposed to 28 percent of females. Meanwhile, 13 percent of men said they watched more sports in the wake of social justice movements, as opposed to only 7 percent of women.

The breakdown by political party runs as might be expected given the tenor of the national conversation around sports. About 13.7 percent of Democrats say they watched more sports in the wake of social justice movements, while 19 percent watched less. On the other hand, only about 8.6 percent of Republicans watched more sports, while 53 percent watched less once social justice messaging became prominent.

Worth noting is that Independents came in somewhere in the middle, with about 8.7 percent saying they watched more sports in the social justice era, and about 38.6 percent saying they watched less.

The Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,601 U.S. adults interviewed online between February 20-22, 2021. The poll has a margin of error of ±2.7%.

In Luce tua Videmus Lucem KRK
Everything is absolutely so horrible, that the NFL is expected to set record breaking highs in their new TV contracts... oh look at the horror!

Things are sooo bad for the NFL right now...

In fact most TV rating numbers have been doing worse over the last couple of years, more and more as streaming has become more popular...

I wonder why that is... oh that's right, they don't count streaming, which includes more and more people every year.

TV advertising in the United States is worth more than $60 billion a year. And much of those ad sales hinge on Nielsen ratings. But Nielsen hasn’t kept up with the changes in how people watch TV — until now. The marketing firm plans to remake its measurement system to finally include streaming by 2024.

  • KRK
  • Veteran Member Topic Starter
“All truth passes through three stages: first, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; and third, it is accepted as self-evident.” German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)
In Luce tua Videmus Lucem KRK
The ratings are relative. Yes, the NFL ratings have dipped, but that's not the whole story. TV ratings in general have dropped a lot. The NFL has just felt it far less than other programming. Basically, if there were 1,000,000 viewers, the NFL had 20,000. Now there's 750,000 and the NFL has 18,500. The size of the overall pie is smaller, but the NFL has a larger slice of that pie.

The numbers I'm using are absolutely arbitrary and not reflective of any stat actually captured. They are just to illustrate the point of why it's true the NFL ratings are down, and also why the NFL is still able to sign TV deals totaling over 100 billion bucks.

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Originally Posted by: KRK 

“All truth passes through three stages: first, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; and third, it is accepted as self-evident.” German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)

Complete bullshit passes through the same first two stages as well... even sometimes the third one as well, even you have dumbasses who believe the lies they're being fed.
To me, sports should be sports. Not trying to tell me what to think “socially”.
If sports started trying to shove conservative values down the throats of viewers, you think that liberals wouldn’t be throwing fits?
Several years ago the singing group “Dixie Chicks” started talking their liberal views during one of their concerts. They had a large amount of people walk out and demanding refunds. They said “we paid to hear their music, not preach their political views”.
And that’s how it SHOULD be with sports. If they want to push their politics, do so on their own time. I tune in to watch their play, partly as an escape from the negative news that you can’t escape from now a days. It’s for entertainment.
That’s my opinion.
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